Weekly sports media notes version 06.02.16: Josh Lewin in as new voice of UCLA, Bill Roth moves back East

What’s worth posting up now:

Josh Lewin has been calling San Diego Chargers games the last 12 years and Mets games the last five seasons.

Josh Lewin has been calling San Diego Chargers games the last 12 years and Mets games the last five seasons.

== Bill Roth’s longing to return to the East Coast, and Josh Lewin’s desire to merge into a new family in Southern California, has resulted in UCLA changing play-by-play men on its radio football and basketball games for the 2016-17 season.
The move had been in the works for the last several weeks before UCLA announced it Thursday morning.

Bill Roth called 27 seasons at Virginia Tech before coming to UCLA for the 2015-16 season.

Bill Roth called 27 seasons at Virginia Tech before coming to UCLA for the 2015-16 season.

“When you have the chance to add a Hall-of-Fame broadcaster as accomplished as Bill to your program, you obviously have to give that serious consideration,” said UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero in the school’s statement.  “Bill expressed tremendous interest in this position and his confidence in his ability to switch coasts ultimately gave us confidence in this choice.  With his pedigree, it was impossible to say no.  Unfortunately, Bill was unable to make this transition and has decided to return back home to the East Coast. We thank him for his hard work and professionalism over the past year and wish him all the best.

“Fortunately, as we all know, UCLA attracts exceptional talent. Josh made us aware of his interest in the position a couple years ago, but the timing simply wasn’t right with his other broadcast commitments. Currently with more flexibility in his other duties, it quickly became apparent, given the extensive search we conducted not all that long ago, that Josh is now an ideal fit. …
“Josh is the future of our UCLA broadcasts, and our future is bright.”
It was only a month after the Bruins’ 2015 college basketball season ended, and Chris Roberts’ retirement was official following a 23-year run at the school, when UCLA worked with media rights holder IMG and decided to hire Roth, who had spent the previous 27 years calling sports for Virginia Tech.
Lewin, who has been the San Diego Chargers’ radio voice since 2005 and callings Mets games since 2012, was on UCLA’s short list of candidates as well.
So what happened? It’s no coincidence that “Josh Lewin, voice of the Bruins” has a ring to it.
We have more on it at this link …

== Notable Vin Scully-related media-generated things over the last week: Continue reading

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Sunday media: How the UFC Fight Pass tries to put its best interface forward

ufc-fight-passLAS VEGAS >> This is the unglamorous part of the Nevada desert where they still secretly test stuff.
Like, the UFC Fight Pass website, for example.
Just a bit West of the Vegas Strip, in a rather nondescript, soon-to-be-abandoned office complex behind an In-N-Out on Sahara Avenue, Eric Winter would not say he’s at a point where his patience is also being tested.
AR-160529501.jpg&maxh=400&maxw=667The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s senior VP, general manager and multi-media guru just wants to make sure that when the proper moment arrives, the subscriber-service website will have as many bugs as possible eliminated from hundreds of beta testers and ultimately remain true not just to its original launch claim in 2013 of being the “Netflix of the combat sports business” but also continue a revolutionary evolution in becoming something much more cutting edge.
“Like any company, you’re always iterating on your product, and we’ve got all these chefs in the kitchen putting their finger in sauce trying to see if we need more salt,” said Winter. “With the technology we have now, it needs to get better and it needs to get better for one, three, five years from now.”
More on this column at this link …

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It’s Out of the Question: A Cuban Missive Crisis in his Veep candidacy


There’s the scene from “Back to the Future,” when Doc Brown gets blue in the face, highly doubtful Marty McFly somehow traveled back from 1985 to crash land in present-day 1955.
“Then tell me, future boy, who’s President of the United States?”
“Ronald Reagan.”
“Ronald Reagan? The actor?”
Doc laughs in disbelief.
“Then who’s vice president? Jerry Lewis?”
And now Mark Cuban is willing to provide the punchline 30 years from now?

Our Saturday “It’s Out of the Question” column is linked here, with columnist Norman Chad already adding more logs to the fire:

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Weekly sports media notes version 05.25.16

Before the holiday weekend begins, what’s worth posting now:

knithat== There is more evidence supporting the rumors that the Rams are about to lock down a radio deal to have their games heard both on all-sports KSPN-AM (710) and classic rock station The Sound 100.3 FM.
It’s a rather odd arranged marriage with the AM side supported by ESPN Radio/Disney Corp., and the FM affiliate from Entercom.
The favorite going in had to be the iHeartRadio combo of KLAC-AM (570) paired up with any of its FM affiliates, most notably KLOS (95.5), KIIS (102.7), ALT (98.7) or Power 106.
How did they possibly fumble this one?
Cross promotion is usually thought to be the key, which can be done cleaner with stations owned by the same company.
Sports-talk programmers in L.A. have been handicapped since the mid-’90s in not having a local NFL team to either promote or talk about, and many over the last 20 years insist that a connection with an NFL franchise would do wonders to boost ratings and impact in the genre.
KSPN, which already has the Lakers and USC football and basketball, seems to think it can make the Rams fit in there as well. Why not? KLAC, with the Dodgers, UCLA football and basketball, and the Clippers during the playoffs as a late edition, also has several overflow channels large enough to accommodate scheduling conflicts.
One of the more interesting notions was that KABC-AM (790), which has the Kings, was going to have the Rams, and could have made it almost all-day programming considering what else the station has to offer. Cumulus currently owns KABC, but it also has somewhat of a partnership with KSPN-AM, which likely would send live games to if there was a conflict.
Next up: Hiring a broadcast team that might be compared someday to the Dick Enberg-Don Drysdale pairing of old on KMPC-AM (710).
Steve Savard, the news anchor at St. Louis’ KMOV, had been calling Rams games with former player D’Marco Farr. There should be a long list of local talent that would be willing to jump into this position, with KSPN talent expected to be included on pre- and post-game coverage.

072211WOFVinScullystar 054cp== The Southern California Sports Broadcasters have announced that The Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award will be added to its annual recognition ceremony, starting in January, 2017, and that Vin Scully will be the first recipient. Former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley has also agreed to introduce Scully for that inaugural award.
“At the SCSB we are delighted to have both men in attendance,” said current group president Chris Roberts, the recently retired voice of UCLA sports. “Who better to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award than the greatest broadcaster of our time?”

== You’ll see stories with provocative headlines pop up these days, such as:
Did you know Vin Scully almost became John Madden’s partner at CBS?”
Actually, yes, we did. Scully was Madden’s partner, which included the 1982 “The Catch” NFC title game, until Pat Summerall was officially named Madden’s boothmate.
BeYoxHYCAAEsErGBut as is the case with Scully now, everything old is new again, repackaged as news. Because looking back to see how events of the past reflect on today are another way to celebrate Scully’s presumed final year in the Dodgers’ broadcast booth.
The story is in reference to a long New York Times’ piece by Rob Weintraub that basically quotes former CBS exec Terry O’Neil’s recollections of that moment in network sports TV in the early 1980s. Scully isn’t quoted.
With each week that is whittled off the 2016 schedule, more stories appear. More of Scully’s time is requested, and more of his recollections come through.
It’s almost as if today’s best sportswriters are writing a book on Scully’s career, chapter by chapter, all to be put into a giant binding sometime at the end of the year.
The latest editions:
= The Wall Street Journal had Jason Gay out to do a “why leave now?” piece.
“I’ll miss it,” Scully says. “I know I’ll be very unhappy for a while.”
= The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman wrote an essay recently about how “Today’s baseball would have no room for the brilliance of a young Vin Scully.”
“Listening to Scully through the magic of baseball’s satellite of love is to be touched by real irony,” Raissman wrote. “It is to know this man, whose skills go unmatched, would never be hired today.”
= The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick recalls a time Scully was very upset after the way fans in Detroit reacted to the Tigers winning the 1984 World Series, which Scully called for NBC.
“Man, was he angry, indisputably and understandably angry, raging against that storm,” wrote Musnick. “That Sunday afternoon, after all, the World Series, as described brilliantly to a national audience by Vin Scully, concluded with a riot — personally described to me by Vin Scully. When our conversation ended and I looked at my note pad. I didn’t have much.
“I still am unsure if it was a good thing that I happened to be on the phone with Scully as that riot erupted — whether it was some sort of luck-of-the-draw privilege to have heard Vin Scully blow his top — but I felt almost as if I had been eavesdropping.”
We’ll collect and link to as many Scully stories as they come each week. Just because.

== Then there are stories couched as breaking news about Scully that have no news value at all. Just because. Continue reading

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Dancing with the “Danettes,” and fashioning a job interview from a possible group intervention

The Danettes got a make-over on Friday.
It forced Dan Patrick to start his show flying solo. A pilot without an air traffic controller.
Awkward. On several levels. Especially after the four finally appeared, and their new stylists admitted to “Googling them” before sizing them up.
They cleaned up well, but the nitty gritty of it all, watching and listening to the show daily and observing the way they interact as a sounding board for Patrick, characters in a reality show, plus having to be functional member for Dan Patrick on his morning sports-talk show (6-to-9 a.m. on KLAC-AM 570, simulcast on DirecTV’s Audience Network and NBCSN), the thoughts do occur:
6432107-A-job-application-jobs-sitting-with-a-pen-applying-for-a-job-Stock-PhotoA) It doesn’t look that taxing.
B) How much does it pay?
“They make it look a whole lot easier than what it is,” Patrick warns. “I think that’s sort of the novelty of what we do. You want it to sound great, look great, feel great. It’s a job you want.”
So, why not us as a “Danette” in training?
Set up not so much as an intervention, but an invitation to shed more light on the process, we gathered executive directors Paul Pabst and Todd Fritz, director of operations Patrick “Seton” O’Connor and blogger/Sports Illustrated writer Andrew “McLovin” Perloff after Thursday’s show at the DirecTV studios in Marina del Rey.
They could have easily gone back to their hotel to take a quick nap before submitting themselves to the “Sports Jeopardy!” appearance they had later that day.
Instead, they did a bigger reveal, one they probably hadn’t done much of since they last were asked to do a thing called “The Box Score” post-show breakdown.
For the record, the Danettes have been together since Perloff was the last addition in the fall of 2007. When Patrick left ESPN earlier that year, he recruited Pabst and Fritz, whom he had worked with at the network going back to 2002, and then hired O’Connor.
In their ninth year together, the bond continues to strengthen. There’s no weak links.
Take notes, my friends. Pretend you’re me (asking the questions in boldface italic), and read between the lines (noting a condensed version of this appears in the Sunday print editions and online at dailynews.com)

During their time in L.A. this trip, the Dan Patrick Show made it out to an Adam Sandler movie premiere. From left: Patrick "Seton" O'Connor, Andrew "McLovin'" Perloff, Tod "Fritzy" Fritz, Dan "Dan" Patrick and Paul "Pauley" Pabst. Photo by DJ Spahr/DirecTV

During their time in L.A. this trip, the Dan Patrick Show made it out to an Adam Sandler movie premiere. From left: Patrick “Seton” O’Connor, Andrew “McLovin'” Perloff, Tod “Fritzy” Fritz, Dan “Dan” Patrick and Paul “Paulie” Pabst. Photo by DJ Spahr/DirecTV

Does age work against me? I probably skew closer to Dan’s age than yours?
(For the record, all four are married and with at least one child. Pabst and Fritz are 46, Perloff is 44 and O’Connor is 37).
maxresdefaultPabst: I actually think being too young might hurt. You need some knowledge of sports history, and you’ve got to have some skeletons in your closet. Some baggage on your person, your psyche. A 22-year-old, what we might do to him would not be fair …
Fritz: To have a strong sense of humor you need a certain amount of live experience and observations to be able to …
Pabst (to Fritz): When is yours going to hit? Continue reading

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